The Coral Reef Elementary School CRABs Robotics team took first place in the Project Category at the Cypress Swamp First Lego League Qualifying Challenge in Lakeland.
The team members invented a device that can track a person’s location using radar to help find them as soon as possible in the event of a natural disaster.
Phil Ferro, Chief Meteorologist at WSVN Channel 7, worked as a mentor with the team and provided expert advice on the research and design portions of the project. Captain Sean Nolan, Coral Gables Fire Department, provided expertise on the “search and rescue” portion of the invention.
The students also won an Alliance Challenge for earning the most points in the Robot Matches when paired with another team.
Twelve teams competed from various cities in South Florida and the Coral Reef CRABs (Coral Reef Advanced Bionics) were one of two teams with elementary school age students. The other teams were comprised of middle school students. For outstanding performance in all categories, the CRABs qualified for Regionals, which are being held in February, where they will compete for a chance to advance to the state competition.
Team members include Emily Foreman, Marley Ross, Nicolas Carvajal, Jake Glidden, Anthony Pastrana, Austin Valdes, Hsiang Hong, Sophia Leng, Christopher Lopez and Carson Rogers.
Kim Valdes and Claudia Pastrana, fourth and fifth grade teachers respectively at Coral Reef Elementary School, have been coaching the FLL (First Lego League) team since the beginning of the school year in the areas of robot game, core values, and project design.
In the spirit of creativity the original team named themselves the CRABs (Coral Reef Advanced Bionics) team. As a first year team in the competition, the nine students who comprised the team and the coaches took on the challenge with excitement and trepidation. Florida has enough registered FLL Lego teams to host both a championship tournament and a qualifying tournament.
On Jan. 3, 2012, the CRABs participated in the local 2011 Food Factor Challenge qualifying tournament held at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart and earned the Project Award first place trophy. The CRABs team designed a stone crab claw cracker that maintains the perfect temperature for the crab with minimal human interaction to avoid the transmission of germs. The skit took place at Garcia’s Seafood Grille and Fish Market where the CRABs had toured as part of the research for the project.
The 2012 Senior Solution Challenge required students to research possible inventions that can be designed to assist senior citizens to maintain an active lifestyle. After interviewing seniors and extensive research, the students determined that the No. 1 issue that senior citizens face is the ability to maneuver all the technology available today. The CRABs designed a portable tablet with the potential to project the screen on a wall or hard surface for easier readability. At the January 2013 Senior Solution Challenge Qualifying Round, the CRABs were awarded the Judge’s Award for outstanding performance in all categories. First Lego League is an alliance between the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (First) and the Lego Group with more than 20,000 teams in over 61 countries. FLL started in 1998 with a robotics program designed for 9- to 14-year-olds to get them excited about science and technology, and teach them valuable employment and life skills.
Students, working in teams, program an autonomous robot (using the LEGO MINDSTORMS or the EV3 robot set) to score points on a thematic playing surface, create an innovative solution to a problem as part of their project, and implement the FLL Core Values. These three elements — the Robot Game, Project, and FLL Core Values — make up the yearly Challenge.
The teams are required to complete three separate challenges:
1) Teams build and program an autonomous robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS technology to score points in 2.5-minute matches on a themed playing field.
2) Teams explore an actual problem that today’s scientists and engineers are trying to solve, develop an innovative solution to that problem, and share their findings.
3) Teams complete a task selected by the judges that demonstrates the team’s ability to implement the Core Values of First Lego League in an impromptu situation.